May 11, 2011
What Texas A&M now must decide is which of its more realistic, second-tier candidates should be the new target.
According to the Houston Chronicle, Wichita State's Gregg Marshall, Nebraska's Doc Sadler and Colorado's Tad Boyle are among the coaches that appear on athletic director Bill Byrne's early list. Other outlets have reported that UTEP's Tim Floyd and ESPN analyst Fran Fraschilla could get a look.
Some of those names are intriguing, albeit less splashy than Pastner or Williams:
• Marshall has kept Wichita State in contention annually in the Missouri Valley Conference since replacing Turgeon there, but is he ready to leave with maybe his best team returning next season?
• Boyle rejuvenated interest in the Colorado program in a 24-win debut season that ended in the NIT semifinals, but would the native Coloradoan bolt after just one season at what he once called his "dream job?"
• Floyd has a well-deserved reputation as a excellent tactician and evaluator of talent, but are the stains on his reputation from the O.J. Mayo scandal too deep for Texas A&M to make a serious push to hire him?
• And Fraschilla remains deeply connected on the international scene and also has ties to Texas AAU programs, but has he been out of coaching too long for the Aggies to feel comfortable bringing him aboard
No matter what direction Texas A&M decides to go, any of the above coaches would have to seriously consider an offer. The Aggies may not be a traditional basketball power or receive the fan support of some of their Big 12 peers, but Turgeon took them to four straight NCAA tournaments and leaves behind arguably his best team for next season.
It's not a good enough job to lure Pastner or Williams, but Texas A&M still has the opportunity to make a solid hire.